Where is Highgrove House? This is the history of King Charles III's Gloucestershire home

Highgrove House welcomes around 40,000 visitors a year. Credit: PA Images

For more than 40 years, Highgrove House in Gloucestershire has served as the private home of the now King Charles III and the Queen Consort, Camilla.

The 18th-century estate near Tetbury was acquired by the King, after previously being owned by the son of former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan.

The Duchy of Cornwall owns the residence, having bought the house, garden and nearby farmland which is now known as Duchy Home Farm in 1980.

It has become a place where briefings, receptions and charity events are held by the royals and welcomes around 40,000 visitors a year.

His Majesty chose to live in Gloucestershire because of its access to London, Wales and other Duchy-owned land including Poundbury - the King's model town near Dorchester.

What does King Charles use Highgrove for?

The monarch was seen arriving at the residence yesterday (14 September), where he will now spend a private day of reflection after the Queen's death.

In the detailed planning for the aftermath of the Queen’s death a day was set aside at this point for the new King to have some time away from public duties.

Many have been paying their respects following the death of Her Majesty by laying flowers outside the estate.

Many have been paying their respects following the death of Her Majesty by laying flowers outside the estate.

The King hosts briefings, receptions and charity events at Highgrove, often in the Orchard Room which was built in 2000.

In 2019, Clarence House said tours, along with events, retail and catering at Highgrove, have raised more than £7million for charity over the past quarter of a century.

Many people living in Tetbury say the King has become a familiar sight over the years. Some even described him as a 'neighbour'.

One resident said: "He has had such a role model to learn from throughout his whole life, so he's set up for success and I hope he seizes that opportunity."

Another said: "He's a neighbour, he's a lovely man, I wish him well. I hope God is there to help and guide him."


  • Watch a tour of the gardens at the Highgrove Estate


One of Highgrove's most famous features is its gardens. When the Duchy bought it in 1980, it only had a kitchen garden, an overgrown copse, some pastureland and a few hollow oaks, but with the assistance of expert gardeners, the King transformed the grounds.

A passionate gardener, the King has spent more than 40 years devoting his energy into transforming the gardens around the house, which are now visited by thousands of people every year.

The gardens are now filled with personal touches and the mark of the family – from a tree planted by Prince George to the treehouse built for a young Prince William.

George’s Balsam Poplar tree stands close to the main Highgrove house, with a plaque bearing the words: “This tree was planted by Prince George of Cambridge on 23rd March 2015.”

King Charles III gardening in the early years at Highgrove Credit: Highgrove Enterprises/PA

The treehouse, named Hollyrood House, was given to William in the late 80s and used by him and his brother Harry when Highgrove was their childhood home. It was rethatched in 2018, and restored for future generations.

Seventieth birthday gifts to Charles are among the more recent additions to the gardens.

A wooden beehive was a present from Fortnum & Mason, while a slate bust of Charles and Camilla, depicting them smiling with their heads together, stands in the Winterbourne Garden – a gift from the his friend, businessman Sir Don Gosling.

The King is also said to be a fan of scented flowers, in particular a yellow climbing rose.

Charles among the blooms at Highgrove Credit: Marianne Majerus/Highgrove Enterprises/PA

One of his favourite roses is Jude the Obscure, a citrus-scented yellow rose which decorates the Shand Gate – the entrance to the garden which was renamed in honour of Camilla’s late brother Mark Shand.

Fruit and vegetables from the Kitchen Garden are used for Charles and Camilla’s table, while cut flowers in the house tend to come from the garden.

The King previously said of the gardens: “One of my greatest joys is to see the pleasure that the garden can bring to many of the visitors and that everybody seems to find some part of it that is special to them.”

What events are held at Highgrove?

The King, who was Prince Charles at the time, had made a surprise appearance Credit: PA Images

The Jubilee Tea Party

The King, when he was The Prince of Wales, made a surprise appearance at a tea dance held at Highgrove House during the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The royal - along with TV star Jools Holland and soul singer Ruby Turner, surprised more than 250 older guests in May last year, at a party thrown by the Prince’s Foundation in the Orchard Room of Highgrove House.

The event - held as a way combat loneliness and isolation within the community - saw men and women from the area enjoy an afternoon tea while socialising and enjoying live music.

The Prince of Wales dances with Bridget Tibbs during a Jubilee tea dance. Credit: PA Images

The now monarch sat down with special guest Elizabeth Powell who was celebrating her 100th birthday at the time.

He presented her with a bouquet of flowers from his gardens and a handwritten birthday card, the front of which was decorated with a print of one of his own paintings.

Hedgelaying

Hedgelaying is another of King Charles' passions when he's spending time in Highgrove. Credit: PA Images

King Charles is the patron of the National Hedgelaying Society and is a champion of the traditional craft.

In the most recent event in December last year, around 50 hedgelayers took part in a hedgelaying competition at the private residence.

The King hosted the hedgelayers at a reception before handing out the awards.

What will happens to Highgrove now Charles is King?

The role of Duke of Cornwall has now been handed to Prince William following the accession of King Charles III, which means the Prince is now responsible for the Duchy of Cornwall estate.

This means ownership of Highgrove House has been automatically passed down to the Prince.

The former royal butler at Highgrove, Grant Harrold, thinks the King will still continue to regularly visit the estate.

"He loves Highgrove, I don't see him totally walking away from it", Mr Harrold said.

"The Prince's Foundation now runs Highgrove, it runs the gardens.

"I think going forward you'll find that Prince William as the head of the Duchy, Prince of Wales, I think he will be the one looking after that side of it, through the Foundation because I think he'll take that on.

"And then Prince Charles will use it as a base. He'll come in. He can still enjoy the garden and everything."


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